Friday, November 9, 2018

Paris: Blog Friends, City Walks and a Terrific Art Store!

All this looking at art can make people hungry! So, it was time for a jaunt across town, to what I call "the pretty side" of Notre Dame.


Our mission? To meet instagram photographer, Tweeter and former blogger Tara Bradford Holmes (do you remember her "Paris Parfait"? You can still find it here and though she no longer blogs, the old posts are worth catching up on. Or check out the wonderful images this talented artist shares on Instagram.)


We finally connected on one of the Paris bridges and it was off for a walk past bouquinistes and Paris color!


Well, you can guess what stopped Rick dead in his tracks!


Our first destination was the Institut de monde Arabe or Arab World Institute, on the Left Bank. Created with the cooperation of 18 Arab countries and France, the purpose of the Institut was to disseminate information about the Arab world and its cultural and spiritual values. It includes a museum which we didn't have time to see, but the building was terrific enough.


The award-winning design is wildly contemporary and rectangular. But it is also a dynamic structure. Geometric shapes move based on light and heat from the sun.


The motors that control the openings are targeted from the sun and the spaces and shadows are changed based on how the light moves.


The light was pretty stable while we were there and we didn't get to see the panels move -- I wish we had. But just the building itself was pretty magnificent -- elegant and intriguing. I was glad Tara had suggested it.


Then it was on to lunch -- a salad Nicoise was perfect -- and equally perfect, time to catch up with an old friend. We were lucky enough to get to know Tara and her late and wonderful husband David in person on previous visits. When I first met her, she lived in France. Then Amsterdam. Then England and now she is back in France. It was wonderful to catch up on her life story over the past months.


We bid farewell to Tara and headed off on our destination -- Sennelier art store. But first we stopped for a quick look at Shakespeare and Company.


This has long been a spot I enjoy -- right by the Seine. Its history is storied (pun only partially intended) and you can read more about it here.


Or, right below!


But on the way we had to stop at Parc Vert Galant, which Vivian Swift featured in her beautiful book "Gardens of Awe and Folly."


And it was just about perfect timing. When you feet are in dire need of a rest, nothing is better than a park bench, near a river, under shaded trees in changing shades of gold.


Vivian fans -- remember this?


OK -- here's her interpretation in Gardens of Awe and Folly!


This lovely little park sits on the very tip of the Ile de la Cite and is a "peninsula" surrounded by the Seine.


Not wanting to be wimpy (and also not finding the right bus), this spot couldn't have appeared at a better time. We had been walking and the ankle and foot were beginning to scream. So to contemplate the beauty of this lovely spot and rest a bit was welcome indeed.  (Check out Vivian's book for a more detailed look at this lovely wooded park -- she chronicles the background of it well (along with many others around the world!)


But then it was back to hoofing it to Sennelier,  the famed art store and one I've wanted to visit ever since I first heard about it.


If I weighed twenty pounds more, I wouldn't have fit in the aisles.


I couldn't even get wide enough to get a good photo!


Three floors of very narrow spaces -- and every single one crammed to the gills with the most beautiful art supplies! Watercolors, oils, ink, pastels, journals, pencils... everything!


The store itself opened in 1887 and presumably he created colors for the Impressionist painters of the day.


And no, I didn't get out unscathed! Although I didn't buy Golden here. I can get that at home!


You'll find color charts and historical photos on the walls...


...but the watercolors were behind the counter! I liked the doodle pages from customers!


Rick waited patiently which was a good thing because there wasn't really a lot of room for him in the store, between lots of customers and narrow spaces! (I know, he doesn't look that patient there, but he really was a champ!)


We worked our way back to the hotel, enjoying one nice view after another...


...until we were able to find a bus!


But you have to admit, even if one is in pain, it is far better to be in pain in Paris than, say, the local mall.


After a break at our hotel, we set out for dinner at friends of Jerry's. I don't have photos of this special evening at their beautiful apartment. I wish I did, for it was one of those warm, happy, friendly evenings were one felt so divinely content just to be in the presence of terrific people. I will leave you with one of my favorite photos of the day.


Next time: Paris' biggest street party!

Sharing this week with:   Pink Saturday    /   Let's Keep in Touch  

42 comments:

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Jeanie... what a wonderful post. How wonderful to have a patient Mr. by your side! I love all the pics and I can’t wait to spend more time in Paris! Have a wonderful weekend.

David Gascoigne said...

Thanks for these really interesting reports, Jeanie. Nothing less than we would expect from you. You obviously, to the extent that it is possible on a brief visit, delved into the essence of Paris, its spirit, the life that operates independent of tourist magnets and glamorous nightclubs. The fact that you have friends there obviously helps immensely. And as for not taking pictures of the dinner you extol, bravo I say. It means that you were so immersed in the company, the food and the wine that you forgot about your camera. We have all become a little addicted to cameras but the picture in your mind, the memory of the food, the warmth of the friendship, will far exceed any physical image you might have had. À la prochaine. David

Mae Travels said...

We're just planning our trip to Paris -- we leave in a week. I'm really looking forward to walking around the way you did. I'm impressed that you figured out the bus lines: we always use the metro unless someone has explained exactly how to take the bus, though admittedly the views from the buses are much better.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Joyful said...

Another beautiful day in Paris.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I've always heard that Parisians stay slender because of all the walking and all of the interesting things to do...it must be true! WOW! It's a dreamland for creative and artistic people! WOW...oh I said that!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Jeanie,

I have been enjoying your views and photos of Paris. Some of my favorites are of the river and Notre Dame. It was nice you could meet your friend Tara. Lovely collection of photos and post. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

Jenny Woolf said...

What a lovely post. I specially love the Arab institute - what a creative piece of architecture! Always rewarding to meet old friends again, too. You have evoked the atmosphere of Paris beautifully.

Rita C. said...

I love being alongside you with your trip through Paris!

Iris Flavia said...

Those are bicyclette-treasures for sure!
And a clever, wonderful design of the institute, too!
Love that "chalkboard".
It is always wonderful when people these days are willing - and able! - to take time for relaxing on a bench.
Just sad walking is not that much "fun" for you...
That arts shop is awesome and that pic of your waiting hubby made me laugh in delight! :-) Cute (sorry, dare I say that ;-)?)
Looking forward to the party-post!

Victoria Zigler said...

I have to say, as places to be in pain go, that's certainly a good one. ;)

It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

La Table De Nana said...

I missesd Vivian's gardens and Shakespeare..how on earth? We were cut short one day..WAHHH! LOL there it slipped in again.
J waited outside Sennelier too..but I was w/ Nancy and I will never forget the feeling♥

Lilbitbrit said...

What a wonderful trip. Lovely to meet with friends too in a foreign city.

Valerie-Jael said...

You visited some wonderful places, sigh, I wasn't there! I know that wonderful Shakespeare place and the Arab Insitute. The photo of patient Rick, wonderful. His expression says it all. And then Sennelier....Hugs, Valerie

shoreacres said...

The Arab Institute building was quite a surprise, and beautiful beyond words. I can only imagine you in the art supply store. The worst part of that experience surely was wanting to pack up boxes and boxes of supplies to bring home with you -- not practical, but tempting, I suspect!

Jean R. said...

Wow, that Arab World Institute and art store are something else. What a wonderful experience and trip you both had.

Joanne Huffman said...

Lovely photos, I admire you for all that walking.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Another lovely day in Paris. Oh to go to the Sennelier store,what a treat! I'm enjoying your photos and descriptions of Paris!

Bonnie said...

Jeanie, You are the perfect travel guide. I love reading your posts. I feel as if I was right there with you.
I have been in Paris with terrible foot pain before so I relate to her situation. I did pray for you while you were there because I knew you were concerned.

I will check out your links on your friend, Tara. Also the book by Vivian.

DUTA said...

I fell in love with the "doodle pages" of customers.
Such creativity and humor! Awsome picture!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

So sorry to read you were in pain. I hope that you are better now that you are home and off your ankle. You got some fabulous shots and that art store was unBELIEVABLE. Thanks for letting us tag along. BTW, I can only GUESS what posters Rick was interested in (grin).

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

It is nice to be in Paris with you! Thanks for the wonderful tours!

Jeanie said...

Testing. Just because I can.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful captures! Especially Notre Dame.

I see a lot of Paris through Virginia's blog- she's there now on a yearly visit- but I can't remember that Arab institute building.

Nikki-ann said...

Thank you for sharing your trip with us. It's such a wonderful city, but such a long time since I was last there. Wonderful photos :)

Katie Mansfield said...

How fun. I love Paris.

Pamela said...

Gorgeous photos! Someday I hope to visit Paris again.

roughterrain crane said...

Paris is really full of beauty. Happy Sunday to you and Paris.

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, you really got around the city of lights. I enjoyed my walk with you this morning from the comfort of my chair and a steaming cup of coffee. Your enthusiasm for what you were able to see is so much fun. I will be watching for our next walk in Paris,

Curtains in My Tree said...


Love the pictures and stories, I guess I couldn't fit in that store? LOL
because I weigh 20 lbs more LOL
I enjoy Paris through your blog and others who have traveled there
Found you on Pink Saturday

Janice

Louca por porcelana said...

Great pictures!Hugs!

My name is Erika. said...

What an exciting visit to Paris. Ah- Sennelier. I dragged the hubby and daughter there but oh did I have a wonderful stop. We didn't go to Shakespeare and Co. though. I really enjoyed a bit of armchair traveling and I had to go through the photos twice. The day we did some of this walk was rather grey and damp and late February so it was great to see it all alive with colors of late summer-early fall. Hope you're having a fantastic weekend. Hugs-Erika

Susan Kane said...

A great adventure!

The straight lines and geometric shapes caught my eye.

Sami said...

The Arab Institute building looks fabulous.
So wonderful that you could meet up with a fellow blogger and friends.
I can imagine your visit to Sennelier must have been a dream for an artist like you :)

The French Hutch said...

Your day sounds lovely Jeanie. So many familiar and favorite spots. I love Shakespeare And Company, always love to pop in there. And, nothing like sitting in a beautiful park to take a few minutes to rest. One of my first trips to Paris my mission was to visit an art shop to buy gifts for my artist sister and daughter-in-law. It has been a long time since that trip so I don't have a clue where. I'm sure you were over the moon in there and Rick has that look, I have to wait as long as it takes! He's a good sport, like my husband............

Lisbeth @ The Content Reader said...

What a lot of nice places to visit. I always wanted to visit Shakespeare and Company. Tread the same floor as a lot of famous authors.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Dearest Jeanie
I’ve loved being back in Paris with you and Rick!
Shakespeare &Co which I loved visiting with my daughter. There’s another quaint one she took me too, if I remember Ill ask her the name & let you know for your next visit!!!
Those views are heavenly! Would you mind if I copied a couple, I want to try my hand at painting them!
There’s never a bad day in Paris.
I wish I had found your art shop when I visited - I hope you show us your purchases!
Shane xx

Tracy said...

Ooo... sooo MANY goodies, Jeanie! That Institut de monde Arabe is AMAZING--wow!! Fun to see Rick breaking for cycling art! ;) Ooohhh... you went to Sennelier??!! Can you hear me squealing like a pig--haha!! What did you bring home from Sennelier?! So much fun seeing your Paris memories!! :))) ((HUGS))

Sketchbook Wandering said...

Oh the richness of Paris! Moi, j'aime aussie Sennelier and a few years ago I did a blog post on it. Love your post.

http://sketchbook-wandering.blogspot.com/2012/06/artists-and-their-materials.html

And they were kind to also let me photograph inside!

I don't think I saw the doodles at Sennelier, but I did see a board of charming notes, many written by teens, at Shakespeare & Co. I think I did a post on that as well.

Karen Ann said...

Just beautiful, all of it! And what a gem, that patient husband!

Marilyn Miller said...

Wow! Jeanie! What a special day. I didn't know Tara had moved back to Paris. How I would have loved spending time with her. What a perfect tour guide. And then the art store looks amazing. Just looking at your pictures and reading I want so much to hop a plane.

Sally Wessely said...

What an amazing trip you had. I can only imagine how happy you were to be in your element in the art store. Your photos are just wonderful. My son & wife and their two sons are going to Paris on Wednesday. I know they will just love it. I’ve offered to go along as the nanny, but they didn’t take me up on the offer. (Leon is only 18 months and he get to go to Paris!) (The sixteen year old will miss school, but his French teacher is so impressed by his French already that he said, “Go and practice your French. That is your homework.)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Sounds like a wonderful day, aside from the foot pain! I'm glad you had a beautiful, picturesque place to rest, though! One of my favorite things to do in Paris is to sit on a park bench and take in the beauty. I did that in the park/garden area behind the Notre Dame on my last trip!

Ahh, Shakespeare and Company. I love that store and that spot along the Seine with the view of Notre Dame. Gah, these pictures make me homesick for Paris!

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